I wrote this book since I don’t think musicians study creativity as much as they should and spend an insufficient amount of time researching it. When we talked about inspiration, I suggested figuring out who your favorite musicians were inspired by so I did the same for this book. The following is a list of who inspired this book. If you want to dig deeper on creativity here are some books I drew from that I recommend.
A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink - A great book on thought exercises you can use to change the way you think for the better.
Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott - An interesting discussion on writing and creative process through the lens of an author.
Catching The Big Fish by David Lynch - Lynch’s poetic thoughts on creativity.
Creative Intelligence by Bruce Nussbaum - A detailed discussion of what makes up creative intelligence.
Creativity by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi - A thorough exploration of creativity research by one of the originators of creativity research.
Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull - A fun read on Pixar’s origins with discussions on their creative mistakes and how they fixed them.
Daily Rituals by Mason Currey - A fun and interesting read on the ways many famous creators worked and their cocktails.
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown - If you don’t understand how vulnerability connects you to others and how it can help your music, I suggest reading this.
Deep Work by Cal Newport - A fantastic book about concentrated work and why you need to work in a more isolated environment.
Ego Is The Enemy by Ryan Holiday - An enlightening discussion I recommend for anyone who has trouble putting their art and greater good before their own glory.
Explaining Creativity by Keith Sawyer - The definitive textbook on creative science.
Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi - The formative book on flow and why it’s so important.
Getting Things Done by David Allen - A must read for anyone who wants to get better at getting things off their to-do list and clearing their mind to have more focused thoughts.
Group Genius by Keith Sawyer - The deepest exploration of collaborations and how to do them well.
How Music Works by David Byrne - A thorough discussion on Byrne’s creative decisions throughout his career.
Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks - A great look at music’s effect on the brain.
On Writing by Stephen King - King’s thoughts on how he’s developed his craft over the years.
On Repeat: How Music Plays The Mind by Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis - A scientific look at how hearing repetition in music affects the brain.
Smarter, Faster, Better by Charles Duhigg - A enlightening book on collaboration and productivity.
Song Machine by John Seabrook - A fun look at the history of how pop songs get created in the music business.
Songwriters On Songwriting by Paul Zollo - Amazing thoughts from songwriters on the creative process.
Sparks of Genius by Robert & Michelle Bernstein - A deep scientific discussion of creativity.
Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon - A fun book on inspiration and how it figures into the creative process.
The Artist’s Way by Julia Campbell - A discussion on how to improve your creative output.
The Creative Brain By Nancy C. Andreasen - A psychological perspective on creativity and science.
The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp - A unique discussion of the routine and thoughts that go into developing art through the lens of a wise ballerina.
The Geography Of Genius by Eric Weiner - A fantastic book exploring the rise and fall of the great creative societies through time.
The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz - A detailed discussion on option paralysis.
The Power Of Habit by Charles Duhigg - If you want to learn how to get into better habits and use science to help get you there, this is the most entertaining while informative book on that subject.
The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield - The definitive book on resistance.
This Is Your Brain On Music by Daniel J. Levitin - A phenomenal book on how music affects your brain.
Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Berlin Johnson - My favorite book on the subject of creativity. A fun and interesting read on innovation and the origin of ideas.
Unlocking Creativity by Michael Beinhorn - Beinhorn, being one of the best producers in rock, gives insightful thoughts on creativity and record making.
Zig Zag by Keith Sawyer - An interesting perspective on the creative process with a deep science backing.
There were also a few sources outside of books I gained a great deal of insight from regularly:
99U - A great site that regularly discusses creativity from a design perspective.
Brain Pickings - An amazing site that goes over books and explodes some of the better thoughts inside them.
Fight Mediocrity - A site that makes great YouTube videos and book summaries.
Party Smasher Inc. - A great blog, discussing creativity in the punk, metal and hardcore world.
Song Exploder - A fantastic podcast that takes a song and interviews its creators about the thoughts and methods behind it.
The Punk Rock MBA - A great blog and discussion forum on creativity in business.
The Talkhouse - A website where artists talk to other artists about their work and what they admire in others.